Friday, February 20, 2009

American Police Beat magazine features Pit Bull kissing cop!

Pit Bull kissing police officer who made arrest in dog fighting case! That just says it all!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Deaf, stray pit bull finds lovable home

By Steve Phillips - bio emailBILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A Pass Christian police officer is learning some life lessons from a stray pit bull. It's the story of officer Rebecca Hengen, a dog named Gunther and an amazing adoption.What are the chances a stray, disabled pit bull could be matched with a loving owner? Officer Hengen saved him from the streets, took him to the shelter and later returned to take him home."This is Gunther. Gunther is a pit. He was adopted from the Humane Society of South Mississippi," said Officer Rebecca Hengen, as she petted her friendly pit bull.She first met Gunther while responding to a stray dog complaint."No one knew where he had come from. So, I transported him to the Humane Society of South Mississippi. And he was going to be there for five days until someone claimed him. Or not," she explained.This playful pit bull was a far different sight back then."Gunther was malnourished. Gunther had worms. Gunther had fleas. Gunther had red mange. He had an imbedded collar, where the skin had grown around the collar," she said.And one more thing: Gunther is deaf.After she first brought Gunther to the animal shelter, Rebecca Hengen checked on the dog daily and thought about taking him home.When she finally decided to adopt the deaf, lovable dog the decision was confirmed in a comic strip.Hengen reads a daily comic called "Mutts." That day's strip was about a deaf dog looking for adoption."And the last panel says 'Listen to your heart.' Now, how could I not adopt Gunther after reading that?" she wondered aloud.Humane Society employee Timothy Sartin helped arrange the adoption. He calls Gunther an "ambassador for the breed.""He holds up the breed's standards of being loyal, being smart, being obedient. That's what pit bulls are. So, when they're used for the right way and adopted by a loving family, they can be the most loving animal in the world," said Sartin.Gunther enjoys playing with his new owner and her other pit bull Maggie. This playful, lovable, deaf dog brings pure joy to the one who rescued him from the streets."He goes with what he's got and he does so well with it. He's just, he shows me what life can be like. To live in the moment and be happy with what I have and with what each day brings," said a smiling Hengen.Gunther's adoption was a quarterly winner in the ASPCA's "Adopt a Bulldog" contest and is now eligible for grand prize honors. You can vote for Gunther on the ASPCA web site.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Please show your bully love and sign!

Stop Legislation Against Certain Dog Breeds
Target: U.S. State Representatives
Sponsored by: American Humane Association

Tell PETA that nice families do adopt Pit Bulls!
Target: PETA
Sponsored by: Jennifer O

Canine Cops Help Police

By Phil Schwarz

January 26, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- When we think of police canine units, the breed that most commonly comes to mind is the German shepherd.

But rookie canines on the job now are anything but ordinary.

The two newest members of the Cook County Sheriff's K9 unit are unique and are already performing beyond expectations.

A big bloodhound puppy named Melanie helped police rescued a suicidal man from a forest preserve earlier this month.

The point of starting her on the trail where this individual had come into the woods...she solely hunted out that odor by her abilities," said Jim Pacetti, Cook County K9 Unit.

Melanie found the man in the nick of time. He was semi-conscious and partially submerged in a creek.

The K9 unit consists of a variety of dogs, including bloodhounds and German shepherds, but the most recent member of the force is a very loving, very friendly pit bull.

A pit bull named Elliot Ness is anything but untouchable. Loving and friendly, these traits keep most pit bulls from being good police dogs.

"The main problem we're finding with pit bulls is that they're too darn nice. All they want to do is just sit at your feet or crawl in your lap. They're very nice dogs," said Deborah Thedos, Cook County K9 Unit.

Police officers main contact with pit bulls is when they break up dog fighting rings. When encountering these dogs they found that they were anything but vicious.

"We knew from the get-go that these dogs, they aren't made this way," said Sheriff Tom Dart, Cook County.

For Elliot Ness's partner the pit bull is much more than just a dog.

"He's my best friend. He's my friend. He's my baby and he knows it," said Thedos .

Norton, Purina's Hero Pit Bull

A LITTLE over five years ago, my husband and I heard of this "loser" dog needing a home, loser because he was a pitbull that 'wouldn't fight!' We had two dogs at the time, a Rottie and an Amstaff, so we weren't looking for another dog, but something made us call these people to find out about Norton. The owner said thanks but they'd already found a home for him.
Two days later we got a call from this person saying Norton had been returned and would we like to see him. We loaded our dogs into the car and told ourselves that we were just going to look but it would be a good idea to see if there was a chance all the dogs would get along. I won't go into the horror we saw or the condition that Norton was in but we knew immediately that we couldn't leave this 6-month-old pup there.
His scars weren't just physical, he suffered from severe separation anxiety as well. Norton could not be left alone, he would eat his way out of any enclosure or room he was left in. He had to be with people or he panicked. We were lucky enough to be able to have my husband take him to work every day but on the rare occasion we had to leave him alone he had to be heavily tranquilized. We tried all sorts of training and meds but nothing worked.
We resigned ourselves to the fact that wherever we went, Norton came too, then tragedy struck. Our Amstaff, Hillary, passed away. We were devastated, but it was worse for Norton - he lost a very important member of his pack. The separation anxiety got worse, he followed us everywhere. He took to sleeping in our walk in closet as long as the door was open and he could see us in bed. We knew our Rottie was aging and Norton needed a pal. Well, I'll be honest, I needed another Amstaff, not to replace Hillary in my heart, but to help fill the void her death had created. I found a beautiful Amstaff pup at Barberycoast Kennels in Nova Scotia. I was still reeling from the loss of my precious pup so I knew how Norton must be feeling.
Maybe a pup would be good for him and make him feel he had a larger pack to depend on. Little did I know that we would lose our rottie three weeks after our perfect Haley came to live with us. I'm so grateful that we found Haley, she filled my aching heart with love and Norton's life with joy. You could see the love of life in his eyes for the first time. He had a true companion.
During all of this our city passed a bylaw restricting pitbulls but allowing pedigreed Amstaffs (go figure!). We would be allowed to keep Norton if he could pass a 'Good Citizenship' test (same as a temperament test). Norton may have his problems but temperament isn't one of them, he passed with flying colours, after all, we were there so he felt safe. He was 'grandfathered' and the only restriction is that he had to wear a large tag saying "restricted" on it. Oh, he also had to be neutered and microchipped but we had already done that when we got him. One night about a month after we got our new pup Haley, I got up to go to the bathroom, making sure the bedroom door was shut behind me so that Haley wouldn't wander out and have an accident on the carpet.
While I was in the bathroom I was bitten by a spider. I was on medication at the time and it inhibited my body from producing any antihistamines, so I went into anaphylactic shock. My throat closed and I got very light headed, I felt like I was being put under anesethic. I couldn't make it out of the bathroom and I couldn't make a sound. For some unknown reason, Norton got up from his bed in the closet and went over to my sleeping husband and kept pushing him with him nose until Barrie woke up.
When Barrie saw how upset Norton was and that I wasn't there he went looking for me and found me almost unconscious. He called the paramedics and by the time they arrived I had stopped breathing. I spent two days in intensive care and a week at home recovering from a simple non-poisonous bite.
To this day I don't know how Norton knew one of his pack was in trouble but I do know that I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for him. We had rescued him from a 'bad home' and he took returning the favour very seriously. Norton was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame this year for his heroic act. We received a beautiful oil portrait of Norton from Purina and Norton got a medal and a year's supply of dog food.
He had a wonderful time for the three days we were in Toronto with him, he had his own stretch limo to take him to the TV studios and awards banquet and he was allowed into all the restaurants we were taken to.
The Toronto Humane Society also honoured him in May, he received another medal and a gift certificate for a month's worth of treats. Of course he shares with Haley, he literally allows her to take food out of his mouth.
Boy, for a restricted dog he sure is a good ambassador for his breed.
As for his breeding, I don't have a pedigree for him so who knows, all I know is that he's my hero and I owe him my life.Time, love, and Haley have done wonders for his separation anxiety, we can now leave him home with Haley for 4 or 5 hours without causing him stress and it's getting longer all the time.
Life without Norton? I don't want to even think about it. When the time comes I'll deal with it the best I can, but until then I spend every day loving him. Everyday is a precious gift he gave me.

Kool K-9 Popsicle retires

During an investigation of reports of gunfire in 1997, a Buffalo police officer opened an abandoned refrigerator and found a black garbage bag. He poked the bag with his flashlight and something in the bag started moving. At first he thought that there was a baby inside the bag. The "baby" turned out to be a 5-month-old puppy. After recovering from bite wounds on his head and neck, hypothermia, and dehydration at the Erie County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the pit bull that would be named Popsicle was selected as a possible candidate for the U.S. Customs Service canine enforcement program. Popsicle joined the ranks of other dogs nobody else wanted: dogs that dig up back yards, chew furniture, and are constantly on the go. Just the sort of dog Customs is looking for.
At the end of his training at the Canine Enforcement Training Center in Front Royal, Va., Popsicle went with his handler, J.J. Trevino, to work at the Pharr and Hidalgo bridges in Texas. While working at the Pharr bridge, Popsicle alerted to drugs in a tractor trailer. It turned out to be a ton and a half of cocaine with a street value of $139,605,000, the largest cocaine seizure in the McAllen area in 10 years.
Popsicle and J.J. worked together for a couple of months before Popsicle was returned to Front Royal for additional training. At Front Royal, he was teamed with Rudy Carr, a handler looking for a new canine partner.
Popsicle and Rudy graduated and went to work at the Port of Roma, Tex. While working in Roma, Popsicle made 24 seizures of Marijuana: 12,080 pounds with a street value of $640,000; one cocaine seizure of 148 pounds worth $6,719,200; and two currency seizures with a total value of $65,144.
Popsicle and Rudy have done more than work hard detecting drugs, they've also made numerous public relations and outreach appearances. Popsicle is a dog who overcame his abusive start in life and had his chance to get back at the crooks. While working at Roma, Popsicle suffered a career ending injury to his knee - an injury that required surgery. Popsicle is now retired and is living a life of leisure at Rudy's house. "Only we know that he's a pit bull," says Carr, "he thinks he's a cocker spaniel."


This story is from the Ultimate American Pit Bull Terrier by Jacqueline O'Neil. Weela was also featured in the October, 1996 Outside magazine as an example of the kind of dog one would like to have in a life-threatening situation.
Gary Watkins, eleven years old, was absorbed in chasing lizards when Weela, the family Pit Bull, plowed into him with a body slam that sent him sprawling. Gary's mother, Lori, saw the whole incident and remembers being surprised at first, because Weela always played kindly with children. But her surprise quickly turned to horror when she saw a rattlesnake sink its fangs into Weela's face. Somehow Weela had sensed the snake's presence from across the yard and rushed to push Gary out of strinking range.
Luckily for thirty people, twenty-nine dogs, thirteen horses and a cat, Weela recovered from the snake's venom. Luckily, because that's how many lives she saved a few years later. For her heroism, Weela was named Ken-L Ration's Dog Hero of the Year in 1993. The press release read in part:
In January 1993, heavy rains caused a dam to break miles upstream on the Tijuana River, normally a narrow, three-foot wide river. Weela's rescue efforts began at a ranch that belonged to a friend of her owners, Lori and Daniel Watkins. Weela and the Watkinses worked for six hours battling heavy rains, strong currents and floating debris to reach the ranch and rescue their friend's twelve dogs.
From that experience, the Watkinses recognized Weela's extraordinary ability to sense quicksand, dangerous drop-offs and mud bogs. "She was constantly willing to put herself in dangerous situations," says Lori Watkins. "She alsays took the lead except to circle back if someone needed help."
Periodically, over a month's time, sixty-five pound Weela crossed the flooded river to bring food to seventeen dogs and puppies and one cat, all stranded on an island. Each trip she pulled thirty to fifty pounds of dog food that had been loaded into a harnessed backpack. The animals were finally evacuated on Valentine's Day.
On another occasion, Weela led a rescue team to thirteen horses stranded on a large manure pile completely surrounded by floodwaters. The rescue team successfully brought the horses to safe ground.
Finally, during one of Weela's trips back from delivering food to stranded animals, she came upon a group of thirty people who were attempting to cross the floodwaters. Weela, by barking and running back and forth, refused to allow them to cross at that point where the waters ran deep and fast. She then led the group to a shallower crossing upstream, where they safely crossed to the other side.
Stong, gentle intelligent and brave, Weela,CGC,TT, is the ultimate American Pit Bull terrier, epitomizing the best that the breed has to offer. But her story also highlights an important yet often misunderstood fact about the breed. The Pit Bull is a dog that loves to please its owner and tries to become whatever kind of dog its owner desires. Weela has had two owners.
The first owner dumped her in an alley to die when she was less than four weeks old. Her present owner, Lori Watkins, found five starving Pit Bull puppies whimpering in an alley, took them home and raised them. later, the Watkins family placed four of the puppies in loving homes and kept the little female they named Weela. They believed Weela was special, and she proved them right. Most Pit Bull puppies grow up to become a reflection of both their owners' personality and the care and training they receive. One can only imagine what a different dog Weela would have become if her original owner had raised her, and she had done her best to please him.

Hardworking Pit Bulls Buck Bad Rap

The missing woman would not have survived another night if Dakota hadn't found her when she did. The elderly woman suffering from dementia had been missing for several days when the pit bull—trained to assist law enforcement agencies in search and rescue—located her at the bottom of a steep ravine, her motionless body partially submerged in a small stream.
But when Kristine Crawford, Dakota's guardian, was approached by newspaper and TV news reporters after the successful rescue, she was confronted with an unusual question.
"The first thing they all asked was 'Did your dog bite the woman when she found her?'," Crawford said. "That's something no search and rescue dog handler with another breed is ever asked."
Media Advisory
Take Action!
What laws does your community have regarding dangerous dogs? Educate yourself by getting involved in your local legislative process, by learning more about dangerous dog legislation and getting to know pit bull guardians in your neighborhood.
They've been called killers and monsters in the media, yet thousands of beloved pit bulls live peacefully with families across the country. So where's the disconnect?
Pit bull guardians and animal welfare groups say that it is irresponsible owners and poor breeding—not an inherently vicious breed—that are to blame when pit bulls exhibit aggressive behavior towards humans.
"The media's image of the pit bull as a natural human aggressor is attention grabbing, but false," said Crawford. "In spite of their propensity to challenge other dogs, the typical pit bull is stable, reliable and adores people. Any display of human aggression, whether due to genetic mischance or bad environment, is an aberration. Pit bulls that bite humans are not typical of the breed."
Yet, across the country, communities reeling from shocking press reports involving dog attacks and pressure from nervous residents are increasingly turning to breed bans in an attempt to control the pit bull population in their area.

Pitbull puppies save family from fire.

Tiger the hero
HAMPTON, Va. - A Hampton family is thanking their 6-month-old pitbull puppy, Tiger, for saving their lives during a fast-moving house fire.
The family says Tiger woke them up around 1:30 Monday morning as the smoke and flames spread across their house on Old Buckroe Road.
The parents and all three children escaped, but the fire destroyed everything they own.
As firefighters scrambled to put out the last of the hot spots, Rachelle Bradley stood there watching, dazed.
Her two teenage children and nine-year-old nephew had also been inside when the fire started.
"Everything was in flames. All I could think was, 'Get the kids out!' I ran down the hall trying to get them out," cried Bradley.
Twelve hours later, in daylight, Bradley, still wearing her nightgown, got a sobering look at the charred shell of her home.
"How do we move on? We have nowhere to go. Our house is gone, all our belongings are gone, we don't know."
The entire family was asleep when the fire started, everyone but Tiger.
"And he was scratching on my door trying to get our attention. I opened my bedroom door to see what he wanted and I saw all the smoke."
Bradley made a desperate attempt to extinguish the fire herself.
"And my son grabbed my arm and said, 'Come on Mom. You can't save nothing. C'mon let's go.'"
As if losing their home was not bad enough, the family learned Monday afternoon that someone allegedly climbed into their burned house and tried to steal from them.
The Hampton Fire Marshall, Anne-Marie Loughran, says one of her investigators spotted 47-year-old Jacob Pritchett, Jr. trying to get away with a DVD player and about 35 CD's.
Loughran says Prichett jumped out a side window and tried to run off with the stolen goods, but Fire Investigator Gomes captured him and arrested him. Pritchett is now in jail charged with burglary, grand larceny and crossing a fire line.
The Bradley family has three days in a hotel room provided by the Red Cross, before they must find a new place to live. Tiger is alive and well with the family.

Rufus the hero
Fairmont, WV - Amber Barse said her 6-month-old pit bull mix saved her life and the life of her boyfriend by alerting them to a Sunday morning fire at Barse's apartment near Fairmont.
The dog started barking at about 5 a.m., waking the couple from a deep slumber.
The boyfriend, Cam Myles, fought off the blaze with a fire extinguisher longenough for Barse to get Rufus, a cat and two ferrets outside.
A family who lived in a ground-level apartment also made it out safely.
Though Barse lost just about everything in the fire, she said she's thankfulto be alive and that all of her pets are safe.
"If we didn't have that dog, we'd be dead,'' her boyfriend said.
On Sunday night, they showered Rufus with treats, praise and a trip to a petsupply store. It "was pretty much Christmas for him,'' Myles said.
The cause of the fire has not been determined, but fire officials think itwas accidental and may have been related to a gas heater.